Words Of Advice

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Beth S.'s Comment
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My husband is a truck driver, drove over the road for a while, etc. Came off because his kids were little and he wanted more time with them. He randomly throws out words of advice for if/when I go get my CDL and go OTR. Some are useful, some are relevant primarily to me, and some are just funny. So, this thread is mostly for entertainment, but also for random nuggets of sage advice. Anything to throw in?

1. Quit eating. I have a history of reacting to foods, so his suggestion is that I just don't eat. I'm figuring I'll be surviving on protein powder, coffee, & butter during training because I can't eat most things at truck stops.

2. Pay more attention. Always know who's behind you, beside you, and in front of you. Try to predict what they're going to do. Always know where you can go if there is an issue.

3. If you decide you like it and plan to keep going, make friends with the guys who haul the DoD loads. He figured I'm personable enough and have a clean enough record, I can either figure out how to get the security clearance or figure out how to work with someone who does and bring in bigger bucks. I'm pretty certain this was in the joking category.

4. Pack light during training. We'll set up my truck during my first home break once I have my own.

5. Stay far, far away from anybody who tells you they're a professional driver and can teach you everything you need to know when looking for a trainer.

6. I might want to take a coffee can and a roll of toilet paper with me in the truck.

7. You won't get to watch as much scenery as you think you will because you'll be watching the road.

8. Don't watch movies while driving. Yes, this is based on personal experience.

9. You don't have enough audiobooks.

10. Watch out for idiots. Assume everybody is an idiot until proven otherwise...then assume they're still capable of random acts of idiocy.

11. You will not have as much free time as you think you will.

12. You don't have enough movies.

13. Take a TV even if you don't think you need one. I'm planning to ignore this one, I have enough technology it shouldn't be an issue.

14. Get a new phone before you go and take one of the old phones with you. I have a history of phones suddenly doing random and wacky things on me, so spares are useful. I should probably also take a spare SIM card.

15. Your mother is going to go crazy no matter when you tell her or when you go.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Over The Road:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Another nomination for the Trucking Truth Wiki, "New Driver Advice" section.

Brett Aquila's Comment
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Another nomination for the Trucking Truth Wiki, "New Driver Advice" section.

It sure is!

10. Watch out for idiots. Assume everybody is an idiot until proven otherwise...then assume they're still capable of random acts of idiocy.

I always expected the dumbest move imaginable from everyone around me and you wouldn't believe how often you'll see it happen. You'll think to yourself, "What if this guy getting on the highway too slowly suddenly darts across in front of me?" or "This guy getting ready to make a left in front of me couldn't possibly make it in time but what if he tries it anyways?"

I've avoided many, many accidents over the years because of this. You'll see people do things on a daily basis that will leave you wondering if they're possibly suicidal because it seems no one could simply make such bad decisions. They must be doing it on purpose to kill themselves, right?

confused.gif

Older Newbie's Comment
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I always expected the dumbest move imaginable from everyone around me and you wouldn't believe how often you'll see it happen. You'll think to yourself, "What if this guy getting on the highway too slowly suddenly darts across in front of me?" or "This guy getting ready to make a left in front of me couldn't possibly make it in time but what if he tries it anyways?"

I've avoided many, many accidents over the years because of this. You'll see people do things on a daily basis that will leave you wondering if they're possibly suicidal because it seems no one could simply make such bad decisions. They must be doing it on purpose to kill themselves, right?

After reading this I'm reminded of my motorcycle riding days. One of the things I learned early was ... " always, always prepare for the other driver to do something stupid!"

In that world, the motorcycle rider is virtually invisible to other drivers and I have found that even though a truck is far more visible, people still do things as though you were never there.

Sounds like many of the techniques for staying alive and between the white lines transfer.

Scott O.'s Comment
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Brett beat me to it lol many times I've done the face palm because some Jack nugget did something so stupid...not just 4 wheelers either watch out for other truck drivers...

Pick/Grin's Comment
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As far as stupidity goes (and I'm trying my hardest not to judge other companies as a whole), I always expect the worst on a long emerge. In St Louis right now and a Swift driver swings over two lanes, into the merging lane, running me onto the rumble strips. It's like mirrors are just optional to the guy.

Paul C., Rubber Duckey's Comment
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As far as stupidity goes (and I'm trying my hardest not to judge other companies as a whole), I always expect the worst on a long emerge. In St Louis right now and a Swift driver swings over two lanes, into the merging lane, running me onto the rumble strips. It's like mirrors are just optional to the guy.

It definetely seems that either Swift drivers are runin 58 or 85. I'm near Houston tx today and hade one run up my left side in my lane of travel he never did maintain a single lane of travel the whole time he was in my site just glad he was gone sooner rather than laterembarrassed.gif

Beth S.'s Comment
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I remembered another one!

He'd always write his directions on the window with a dry-erase marker, then mark them off as he went. I think I might want a dry-erase board, as I'd hate to roll the window down and lose my directions!

Errol V.'s Comment
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I remembered another one!

He'd always write his directions on the window with a dry-erase marker, then mark them off as he went. I think I might want a dry-erase board, as I'd hate to roll the window down and lose my directions!

YOU CAUGHT ME!

(Really, it's a great place to write short-term things like trailer spaces, break start-time, Load ID numbers, etc.)

Mike H.'s Comment
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I have a couple

1. Travel light, or just remember ounces = pounds The less gear you bring, the less you have to move

2 things you can't use is the braking distance behind you and the fuel you leave at the station

Keep the left door closed

Carry things that you need on the road, the time you don't have something will be the time you need it

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